Dovecot Street. Early 20th Century

This picture of Dovecot Street shows it as it was in the early twentieth century, a number of these buildings survived into the 1950s and beyond. We start with Collingwood’s which frequently features in pictures of Stockton, next is Gourmet Cafe Temperance Hotel, the name Fothergill appears at the left hand side, I presume this to be the owner. The Lit & Phil Institute building has a mansard roof with oval windows, the Ketton Ox in Yarm has similar openings on its upper floor. In the case of the Ketton Ox this room was used for cock fighting, I doubt such activities took place at the Lit & Phil.
When I was a schoolboy I used to go straight from school to the Lit & Phil in Stockton to play chess against members of a chess club, most of my opponents were at least 40 years older than me and experience always won out, I never won a game.
The Alma Hotel advertising Bass Beers has its lower windows partially obscured to prevent the passing public from seeing what went on inside, I don’t know if this was a law but I think all pubs had frosted glass or name signs in the windows. Kay’s Spreadeagle Hotel is a very narrow building, the bay window and pillars on the upper floors look to be pre-Victorian. I can’t read the sign on the next building but I think the second word may be “Fleece”, this is followed by another bay windowed frontage. The building with Martin Tailor on its side also has an advert which appears to read ‘RATTER and MEN’S’ something, I know my eyes are not brilliant but it still looks to me like ‘RATTER’. There are a few more unreadable signs beyond the Tailor’s shop and at the very back left is a pale building with “THEA” on its front, I presume this to be a theatre. I would be interested if anybody with keener eyes or a knowledge of these buildings can add any more names.

Image and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

14 thoughts on “Dovecot Street. Early 20th Century

  1. My grandparents Samuel and Gertrude Betts lived at no 70 Dovecot Street from the early 20th century until Samuels death in the mid 50’s. He was a boot and shoe maker and used the front downstairs room for his business whilst my grandmother used the front upstairs front room for her tailoring business. The family including 6 children lived in the rear rooms. His great friend Hunter Martin had the nearby shop and was a tailor, I am led to believe they dressed like a pair of typical Edwardian. The lasting effects on my mother and her siblings of growing up next to the Clarendon was to grow up teetotal!


  2. Yes the Lit and Phil Victorian building was demolished to be replaced by a shoddy 50s building? Sounds much like the history of Stockton High Street. Plaza all you like but the old High Street is not coming back. Very sad but we have to move with the times.


  3. At some point, I don’t know when, the building next to Collingwoods became a branch of William Timpson. They were a nationwide firm of shoe shops with their own factory in Kettering. The present day Timpson shoe repairs is a direct descendant.


  4. I lived in Dovecot Street number 114, 2nd house from Mill Lane Girls School, my mother was there for at lest 65 years, she was 99 years old when she died, Peggy Paterson. My father was a Fire Man and inches free time he worked at the Hippodrome, backstage moving the scenery for whatever was on. She had theatricals such as Terry Scott with his wife & child and Bill Maynard
    staying with us while performing at the theatre.


  5. We are looking at the even numbered side of Dovecot St. We don’t know the exact date of this photo but a directory for 1914 shows the occupiers of some of these properties as listed below.

    No. 2 is on the right (Collingwood jewelers is 131 High St), with No. 44 being on the corner of Nelson Terrace (so before the Hippodrome Theatre as shown)

    Mallaby John, eating house, 2 Dovecot street
    Dibble Walter William, tobacconist, 4 Dovecot Street
    Literary & Philosophical Institute, 6 Dovecot street
    – Northern Echo
    – South Durham & Auckland Chronicle
    – Yorkshire Gazette
    Etherington Alfred, beer & wine retailer, 8 Dovecot st (Alma Hotel?)
    Wood Wm. W. stationer & bookseller, 10 Dovecot street
    Harding William S. Spread Eagle Inn, 12 Dovecot street
    Lee Robert F. & Co. ironmongers, I4 Dovecot street
    Halford Cycle Co. Limited, 16 Dovecot Street
    Marks Maurice, furniture dealer, 18 Dovecot Street
    Martin William, tailor, 20 Dovecot Street
    White Hart P.H. 22 Dovecot Street
    Columbia Gold Co. jewellers, 24 Dovecot Street
    Devereux Thomas, tobacconist, 26 Dovecot Street
    Hyam Henry, photographer, 28 Dovecot street
    Ewart W. R. & Son, drapers, 30 Dovecot Street
    Stockton Education Committee, 32 Dovecot street
    Lang Elizabeth (Miss), news agent, 34 Dovecot street
    James M. & C. tobacconists, 36 Dovecot street
    Tate Adam, dining rooms, 42 Dovecot street
    Harbottle Thomas, fruiterer, 44 Dovecot Street


    • In 1890 the property numbers in Dovecot St. were arranged differently.
      (see Spread Eagle at No. 29)

      Thwaites George, confectioner, 32 Dovecot St.
      Thwaites George & Co. bill posters, 32 Dovecot St.
      Literary Institute buildings, Dovecot St
      – Bone Christpher, commercial traveller
      – Gledstone John, manager of the North Eastern Banking Co.
      – Malcolm Duncan Robert (firm, Chilton & Malcolm), solicitor
      – Stockton Literary Institute
      – William Bentley, librarian
      – James Wright, president
      – Dr. Thomas Watson & Henri Wilkinson, vice-pres
      – E. Payne Turner, hon.sec.
      Wood Joseph Richard, stationer, 30 Dovecot St.
      Higginbottom Albert H. Spread Eagle P.H. 29 Dovecot St.
      Bell John, fruiterer, 28 Dovecot St.
      Lee Robert, ironmonger, 27 Dovecot St.
      Hansom Margaret (Mrs.), Nag’s Head inn, 26 Dovecot st
      Getz Morris, glass merchant, 25 Dovecot St.
      Shipley George, White Hart P.H. 24 Dovecot St.
      Devereux Thomas, tobacconist, 23 Dovecot St.
      Blakey Margaret (Miss), stationer, 22 Dovecot St.
      Freund Hermann, hair dresser, 21 Dovecot St.
      Walton Ann (Mrs.), china dealer, 20 Dovecot St.
      Elliott Thomas M.R.C.V.S. veterinary surgeon, 18 Dovecot St.
      Harbottle Thomas, fruiterer, 12 Dovecot St.
      Grabham George, yeast importer, 10 Dovecot St.
      Scarth John, tailor, 9 Dovecot St.
      Richardson Frederick, watch maker, 8 Dovecot St.
      Young Robert, painter, 8 Dovecot St.
      Nicholas John, confectioner, 7 Dovecot St.
      Hornby Thomas Whitfield, auctioneer, 6 Dovecot St.
      Barrowcliff Jn.Charles,grocer, 5 Dovecot St.
      Stockton School Board offices, 4 Dovecot st
      – Jas. Wright, chairman
      – Christr. Bone, vice.chairman
      – Jas. Tweedy, solicitor & clerk
      Kirton George,Jeweller, 3 Dovecot St.
      Millichap John, confectioner, 2 Dovecot St.
      Pomfret Ralph H. dyer, 1 Dovecot St.

      Jobbing Isaac, petroleum oil merchant, Dovecot St.
      Victoria Club (Thomas neveraux, sec.), Dovecot St.
      Dent Wallace Frederick, dining rooms, Dovecot St.


  6. Unfortunately I can’t add to your excellent narrative: I can express interest and nostalgia at intently looking at photos such as this one. My wife and I left dear old England in 1957 at ages 30 but love our mother country dearly, still. My Picture Stockton collection will be admired by some of my progeny, others, sadly, not so keenly interested in the subject.
    It is so sad that so much of Stockton’s varied architectural expressions disappeared via the wrecker’s ball, at least I think so.


  7. Bruce my maternal grandfather managed the Spread eagle (12 Dovecot St) from about 1924 to July 1926 so I was wondering if you’d allow me to have a copy of this photo for my family history?
    Douglas Landin.


  8. The Theatre was the Hippodrome, I think.
    As a family we saw Wilson, Keppel and Betty many years ago.
    They used to do a sand dance.
    Also saw John Hanson in a musical.


    • I thought it may say something along the lines of Hatters and Men’s Outfitters, but the original image is a lot clearer than the one on the site and the first letter certainly looks like an ‘R’, also the first letter of the missing word starts with an ‘M’.

      My other reply gives a couple of addresses where you can download the original if you wish to have a closer look.


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